Over the past nine years I’ve played around with four or five different styles of window covers inside my Sprinter van. My tests have led me to: sew curtains myself (DIY style), order custom-made covers from a local tailor, buy cheap blinds on Amazon and purchase premium window covers through DIY Adventure Van Co. and Quest Overland. If I’ve learned anything, it’s this: investing in legit van curtains is worth the money!
Quality window covers accomplish all least three goals:
- Curtains prevent creepers from snooping
- Blinds enable you to stealth camp in residential areas
- Insulated window covers regulate temperature during the hot/cold months
Let’s look at each of these point in a little more detail!
Curtains Prevent Creepers from Snooping
I’ve lost track of how many times folks have smooshed their faces against my windows in order to peer inside for a quick van tour. It happens all the time. Day or night, it makes no difference. My worst/funniest experience occurred in Bend, Oregon months after I purchased my Sprinter van. I was stealth camping outside my brother’s house when in the middle of the night a man approached my vehicle for a looksee. As he gazed through the driver’s side window, our eyes locked and sheer panic set in. I was startled by a stranger peering into my bedroom and the man jumped at the sight of a bear-chested Sergei laying inside.
I can laugh about it now, but when it happened, I was shaken. I think dude and I both learned what NOT to do in the future. I’d like to think he doesn’t peek into car windows anymore. As for me, I curtained up!
Blinds Enable you to Stealth Camp in Residential Areas
Well-fitting curtains enable you to take control of natural/man-made light. For example, during the summer months, when the sun rises early and blasts you in the face before you’re ready to wake up, a set of blackout curtains gives you the option to sleep in longer. Likewise, nice curtains also give you the ability to trap indoor light in your vehicle. In turn, this permits you to flip-on your favorite twinkle lights and read, play games, cook or watch a show without advertising to anybody that you’re camping on the street. In other words, it gives you the option to be stealthy. Stealthiness is becoming more and more important as van life explodes in popularity.
If you plan to urban camp on your adventures, be aware that it’s becoming increasingly more difficult to fool the police and/or neighborhood watchdogs about van life, especially if you’re rolling around without blinds. Keyed-in authorities are more likely to harass you for camping in residential areas if they can prove that you’re occupying your vehicle. Having a veil up between your home and the rest of the world makes you less of a target.
Insulated Window Covers Regulate Temperature
A good set of insulated window covers will assist you in regulating temperature inside your vehicle. Having windows in a van is a really nice feature, but terrible for climate control. Single pane windows bleed heat in the winter and cool air in the summer. Without additional insulation, the bright summer sun is just as likely to wake you up prematurely with heat as it is with light. Conversely, when it’s cold out, your rig will lose heat in a matter of minutes. Take it from me, sleeping in uninsulated vans at both extreme sucks. Luckily, you can significantly improve how well your vehicle traps hot/cold air by installing good window covers in your rig. This results in more comfort and pleasure on the road. Simple as that!
I Recommend DIY Adventure Van Co. + Quest Overland Products
If you’ve made it this far and want a couple curtain recommendations, I’d be happy to assist! The folks at DIY Adventure Van Co. make a stellar curtain set. I like their window covers because they’re super thick and durable and provide good r-value. Thus, if you select DIY Adventure Van Co. gear, you won’t be disappointed. Check out my video below for more details. I also have a discount for my readers.
Use promo code: sergei10 to save 10%
As much as I enjoy DIY Adventure Van Co. products, I have to admit, I like Quest Overland van curtains a little bit more. This is not easy for me to say, but none-the-less it’s true. Quest window covers are waterproof/stainproof, easier to manage, provide better blackout, have the option of built-in bug screens and cost a few hundred dollars less. I did a full review about these curtains on YouTube for those interested. And… I have a promo code for Quest Overland too.